Directives to Physicians and Family or Surrogates
An important document for anyone to have is an Advance Directive, more formally known as a Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates. No one knows when an accident will leave a person incapacitated and unable to make healthcare decisions. Your Bryan estate lawyers will help you draw up this document in accordance with your wishes.
Why an Advanced Directive Is So Important
Accidents and health crises can happen to the healthiest of individuals, and at any age. If, for instance, you are in an automobile accident and are left in a comatose state for an extended period, you will need to have someone make medical decisions on your behalf. With an advanced directive you can name a person you trust to make such decisions, and then establish a medical power of attorney for that person.
How to Create an Advance Directive
Your attorney will help you with the actual document, but you will name the person you wish to make decisions on your behalf, and specify what types of medical procedures you want doctors to try to keep you alive. Some individuals elect to have a DNO, or Do Not Resuscitate order included in their advance directives. This instrument directs that no extraordinary means are to be used to keep you alive should it become clear that your quality of life will be minimal.
The advance directive is included in the creation of a living will, which must be witnessed and signed by two individuals and notarized. The medical power of attorney must similarly be witnessed. Certain rules pertain to the witnesses you choose. They must be 18 years of age. Moreover, at least one must:
- Not be you health care agent or doctor, not an employee of either
- Not be related to you by blood or marriage
- Not be an employee of a health care facility where you are a patient
- Not be anyone who stands to gain from your death by inheritance of part of your estate
It is a good idea to review your advance directive occasionally to see whether anything has changed. You may need, for instance, to name a new person to act on your behalf. Make sure to keep the original in a safe place, but have copies made so that your doctor, other family members, etc. can locate the document when the time comes for it to be used.
For Further Information on Advance Directives and Living Wills
If you have questions about advance directives or would like to arrange a meeting to set one up, contact the Bryan estate lawyers at Peterson Law Group. Call 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681 today to arrange an initial consultation.